The fascinating color of the sea

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Oct 042011
 

Here’s a little question to my Oceansearch partners: How can we measure what causes the sea to look like it does?

I have always been fascinated by the ever changing color of the sea. Just on this trip we have gone from the steely gray of the Batic, over the dilluted coffe look-alike of the Kiel Canal, to the green and murky North Sea. And just now, in the middle of the English Channel, we get this:

It was like a border crossing between the North Sea and the Atlantic. Sharp as a razors edge, in the middle of the water!

Of course I instantly thought about all our climate measuring equipment when I saw it. But I can’t easily make the equipment do two instantaneous measurements this close to each other. It is just sitting in the bilge and takes a sample every hour… In a situation like this it would be nice to have a “Take Sample Now” button. Plus I guess that it’s not only temperature/salinity/ph that changes between these two bodies of water, but also the particle content which I can’t measure at the moment (maybe it is not even interesting to the climate researchers?!).

Oh, and there was not a cloud in the sky at this particular moment, so the water color change is not an effect caused by a cloud. You get that effect to sometimes. And the depth was constant at about 31 meters as we went “across the border”.


Pretty clean canal!

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Sep 252011
 

So we’re in the canal. Previous times I have been here the lock masters have been really grumpy people, giving the impression that us sailing yacht people are a nuiscance they would rather not have. But this time the lock masters were quite nice!

I guess the authorities are doing a good job of keeping all the tankers that pass through the canal clean. We could not see any significant increase in the amount of oil in the water inside the canal! But the acidification caused by the city itself was quite clear earlier, as we were entering the bay of Kiel.

(And by the way: We are still a bit short on crew from here towards Portugal in early November, so send us a mail if you want to join us!)